The rapid enlargement of the size of container ships has led to the application of extremely thick plate in the deck structures, which may grow concerns about the fracture toughness at the butt-weld with large amount of heat input, and the arrest toughness of brittle crack propagation in the base metal of such thick plates. Also, slam-induced whipping stresses might affect the fatigue crack propagation and the initiation of a brittle crack in a container ship. In order to prevent the catastrophic failure of deck structures by brittle fracture, national joint research projects, which focused on the safety-related issues of extremely thick steel plate applied to hull of large container ships, were formed from April 2007 to March 2011 organized by the Japan Ship Technology Research Association (JSTRA) supported by the Japanese Government in collaboration with universities, national research institute, classification societies and relevant industries including shipbuilding, steel manufacturing and shipping companies. The joint research projects have carried out the investigations on crack initiation toughness of the weld, fatigue crack propagation under seaway loading, the potential of defect detection by ultrasonic testing, and the crack-arrest methods after brittle crack propagation. Practical recommendations to prevent brittle fracture of large container ships were proposed based on these comprehensive investigations. The essential parts of the above research activities are presented in this paper.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ocean Engineering
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering